German Word of the Day – Stoßlüften

Do you know the difference between Stoßlüften and Querlüften? It seems the world has caught up on our love for airing out appartements. Here I was wondering if blogs were museums and it seems rather difficult not to write about current affairs this year. Airing out is the new super weapon against Corona.

In an article by the Guardian you will find an extended explanation of what Stoßlüften really is. Germans are obsessed with airing out their apartments properly. Windows should be wide open at least twice a day to ensure the appropriate circulation of air. Our rental contract actually came with a pamphlet on how to air out correctly.

There are different techniques of Lüften and, of course, we have nice words for that. Foreigners in German offices will know what it is like in the middle of winter when your colleagues insist on airing out for at least five minutes. This is generally followed by an argument with that one co-worker who is afraid of draft. See, in Germany draft is responsible for catching all sorts of stuff, from stiff necks to bladder infections. The Guardian claims, that is why Germans love wearing scarfs. I’m not sure about that one.

So, hop on over to the article about Stoßlüften, if you want to read the whole explanation! If you speak German, there is also a reaction by Süddeutsche Zeitung; both had me in stitches.

The art of Airing your appartment bekitschig blog

Should we just live on thin air?

Do you air out properly in your country?

Pictures by No-longer-here, Gaby Stein and A. Schüler on Pixabay

Do you like funny German words? You might dig this post:   

The Germans have a word for it

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43 thoughts on “German Word of the Day – Stoßlüften

  1. Back in Minnesota, airing out the house had to wait for the temperature to rise into the livable zone. In Cornwall, though, the cat’s in charge of airing out the house. He insisted, when we negotiated his contract, that one window has to be open at all times to he can come and go without having to consult us.

    I think he knew Covid was coming.

  2. I had no idea about either word except that might involve “air”. There are Schlosslüften meters? (I have the ¨ but I don’t have the ‘ss’ sign… There must be an ASCII code…
    I’m going to Schlolssluft rign now…

    1. Ha ha, I am glad that proper Lüften made it half around the world! They are Co2 meters and lots of schools have them. (Have you been to a class room lately? They stink ;)) Happy airing!
      PS. Google suggests this for ß
      ß : Alt + 0223.
      That seems like a lot of work …

      1. Haha. I haven’t recently. Though when I would pick my grandson in kindergarten, it did smell at little kids sweat. 💦
        Wow. The ASCII code. Viel dank.
        Gruss Gott. (didn’t work!) 😩😩😩
        (I will find it!)

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  4. Many houses in the Netherlands have your fancy German hinges. They’re called ‘kiepramen’ here. Perfectly designed for flies and mosquitoes to get in then never escape again, doomed to fly up as far as the frame then drop back down again over and over again until they roll over with their legs in the air. Unless some kind-hearted soul opens the window wide for them, at which point they invariably fly off to a different window which doesn’t open, stupid things. Great for cleaning the outside, though. The Dutch also traditionally hang their duvets out of the bedroom window to air and open windows on opposite sides of the house to create a through-draft. Thinking back to the UK, neither my parents’ house nor that of my in-laws had an opening window in the living room, so not much airing going on there! But when I did a Red Cross course on home nursing, airing the sick room regularly was definitely mentioned, so it’s not completely unheard of, ha ha.

    1. It is interesting how different countries do things so differently. Like in Ireland and the UK, what is it with carpet in the bathroom? In a rental place? Shivers. 😉 British quirks there are many 🙂

      1. Yes, that is definitely horrific! For a while my MIL had carpet tiles in the kitchen, too. Warm on the feet, but we drop far too much every day to make that workable. And then there were fluffy toilet seat covers to match bathmats, which I hope were just a relic of the ‘70s like shag pile carpets, putting carpet on the walls and copper wall tiles. The horror!

  5. Kitsch verfolgt mich den ganzen Tag überall heute, warum meinen die italienischen Restaurants nur das wäre so toll?! Und gar nicht so leicht jetzt eine Örtlichkeit für eine Hochzeitsfeier zu finden für 15-18 Leute, da wird jetzt auch überall stündlich gelüftet …

    1. Na, Italiener ist doch nicht gut ohne karierte Tischdecke, Toscana Bildern und Weinflaschen als Kerzenständer. Mindestens! Drück dir die Daumen, dass das alles passt mit eurer Hochzeit. Auch bei ner kleinen Feier ist die Vorbereitung ja nicht ohne … und das war vor Corona …

      1. Nach einer wahren kleinen Odyssee klappt jetzt das wohl jetzt in Falkensee, sofern Brandenburg sich nicht auch noch neue Regeln für was auch immer einfallen lässt Das Lüften ist wirklich das geringste Problem bei alle dem!

      2. An der Bürgerablage im Forsthaus Spandau konnten wir eine gut (stoss- und quer) belüftete Hochzeitsgesellschaft “bewundern”, dick verpackt in ihren Winterklamotten beim Feiern im Freien. Nur die Braut muss wirklich sehr heissblütig gewesen sein und trug nur ihr weisses Spitzenkleid. Tough times!

  6. Fun read! I love fresh air but I don’t air out the house in the winter, summer I do unless there is forest fire smoke like part of this summer. I love your humor, very tongue in cheek to see if readers are paying attention. Best wishes from Canada and my little city – we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, it’s a special weekend and get together for families without gifts. I like that, Christmas has pressures but Thanksgiving has none. – take care ♥

    1. Enjoy your Thanksgiving! I always prefered Easter of Christmas. Just little gifts and no family stress galore 😉 Have a nice weekend!

  7. It seems popular in Sth France too, to air the rooms at least once a day, plus hang the quilts and blankets over window ledges in the morning for 10 mins or so. I love the fresh air like this but in summer months it is risky at certain times because of the mosquitoes and other biting insects which fly in.
    Winter time here = lots of scarves and wraps to keep away draughts 🙂

    1. Yeah, our southern european neighbours have the airing out of blankets up to a totally different level 😉 It’s odd that they always make fun of the Germans. We have school holidays here in Berlin now but we are adviced to send super warm clothes to school afterwards for airing out to come … Interesting times …

      1. “Super warm clothes” … what are these strange things I ask? In cold England I had a whole wardrobe of warm coats, here just three coats as it’s never that cold and I mostly wear a light jacket in winter 🙂 🙂
        Oh, a really annoying habit down here is the ritual of shaking the tablecloth out of the window or over the balcony after dining is finished. For those of us in apartments it’s no fun being showered from above by flakes of old food and bread crumbs. Once I even thought it was snowing, but as it rarely snows here (coz it’s so warm) I quickly checked my reality gauge.

  8. This was fun to read and they are worried here in the States because soon the outside cafes and restaurants that have converted a chunk of their parking lot to include dining areas cannot continue doing so. It will be way too cold. They have igloo dining at some places – that was popular before the pandemic. I can’t open up my windows at home – they are stuck but not due to the windows but the rollable metal shutters that I didn’t raise up and down for a while and they have now rusted in place on their tracks and won’t go up or down. So no aired-out house – good thing I walk a lot as this year my brain needs to have regular airings-out. 🙂

  9. I always have the windows open as much as I can (we don’t have A.C., wood stove for heat), in the winter I will open my front door or maybe the deck door. It can get really, really cold here, so it would have to an exceptionally warm day to open windows or the wood stove has the house so warm that we need to.

    1. We’re lucky as we have central heading here and I know what it is like to try to get a place warm … German airing gurus claim, fresh air holds the heat better 😉 Stay warm & safe!

      1. Our furnace (central heating) went kaput about three years ago, still paying for wood stove put in about the same time. Once that’s paid for, will be getting new furnace. Once that’s paid for, it will probably be time for a new roof. 😔 It’s a vicious, neverending cycle ☺
        I can understand the concept…fresh air is better for you, even cold, fresh air for 5 minutes a day. Since we’ve been heating with wood, the air dies seem cleaner.

  10. LOL! I read your post and the funny articles directly after opening windows. I had no idea there was a word for what I always do. My former landlady thought I was crazy for opening windows in the winter. 😀
    It should be noted that I always wear a scarf outside because I am afraid of drafts. 😉

    1. Ha ha, that is too funny! I was wondering that the Germans have words for things that aren’t even a concept in other countries! I always thought it was really strange that Australians hardly open their windows, but that might have to do with air conditioning … May your house be fresh and mold-free and your neck warm and comfy! 😉

    1. Thank you! I wasn’t sure when you can start makign fun of these things, Corona isn’t really funny, but a light harded approach sometimes helps 😉

  11. Loved those two articles – and reminded me that when I went to school, in winter especially, the class rooms were to be aired at every pause for 5′. Pupils had ‘airing service’ even…… Angela is right – regelmässiges Lüften ist wichtig 🙂

    1. Thank you Kiki. In many schools in Berlin now they have these littel mashines that measure the air quality (oxigen? carbon monixide?) and it tells you when it is time for Lüften! That was before Corona as well. Fresh air is not a bad idea for a room full of kids. And yes, Angie has an idea here and there. Fresh air seems more resonable than bleach …

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